EAST OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An East Oahu canoe club is calling a recent theft of a custom trailer a part of a growing trend of crimes against the paddling community.
"It seems like there's obviously an increase in crime and it's hitting closer to home," Bonnie Kahapea-Tanner, Director of Kanehunamoku Voyaging Academy said.
Late last week, Kahapea-Tanner said a custom built, 30-foot trailer was taken from the club's lot on Kamehameha Highway in Kaneohe. She believes someone cut the lock and took the trailer sometime Thursday night or Friday morning.
The trailer is specially designed to transport the group's double-hulled sailing canoe. Without it, the large canoe can't be moved.
"Well, we're really upset. It's pretty much the only way we can move the canoe," Kahapea-Tanner said.
It would cost about $10,000 to replace the trailer -- a bill that puts the non-profit group in a financial bind.
"If we don't get it back, we'll have to get another custom trailer and of course, as a non-profit, we don't kind of have that extra funding," Kahapea-Tanner said.
Kanehunamoku Voyaging Academy teaches roughly 1,500 youth every year about canoe sailing and traditional voyaging.
The theft is a latest in a string of crimes against canoe clubs.
In May, vandals cut the rigging of canoes belonging to Hui Nalu O Hawaii Canoe Club twice in one week.
The month before that, taggers defaced canoes along the Ala Wai canal.
"This is kind of a like a huge crisis in our community, and it's kind of sad because it's happening to everyone," Kahapea-Tanner said.
The group is hoping for the return of the trailer and asking whoever took it to simply park it back where they took it from.
"We're really just hoping that our trailer gets returned so we can service our students and the canoe can be safe," Kahapea-Tanner said.
Friends of the organization claimed to have seen the trailer in Waimanalo on Friday Aug. 4, and again on Aug. 8 in Waianae.
Anyone with information is asked to call Honolulu police.